Our Gene Pool
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Thread: Our Gene Pool

  1. #1
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    Default Our Gene Pool

    Is our gene pool very wide amongst the queen producers? Is that, perhaps, part of the problem we have keeping bees alive and healthy?
    Mark Berninghausen

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Is our gene pool very wide amongst the queen producers? Is that, perhaps, part of the problem we have keeping bees alive and healthy?
    my opinion is plenty wide in the USA. The queen producers may not take advantage of it. While the gates were open to Australia beeks in the USA were getting bees from around the world through friends in Australia. again in my opinion the queen producers(and this is the correct word) have to produce more queens than the droans that are available, causes all the droan layers, supercedures, lousy laying queens. I tried 7 different sources of queens in the last couple of years and only got good queens out of canada, then the producer stoped shipping. Time to start raising your own queens in s.c.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Is our gene pool very wide amongst the queen producers? Is that, perhaps, part of the problem we have keeping bees alive and healthy?
    My mother is from Ireland and my father is a mutt. I'd say I've got some hybrid vigor

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    I'm glad you started this thread, I was thinking about posting something similar.

    IMO, I believe there is not enough diversification in the genetics that we have here in North America. Hawaii and Australia and even New Zealand are probably in the same boat as well. What can be expected, since there was only a certian amount of bees brought to these countries from Europe. The first bees into america came in 1620's. These were the dark A. M. Mellifera bees. When the economic value of the italian were discovered in the 1850's, it soon made it's way into the americas, where it became the most commercially used bee. It's hard to determine just how many hives and queens were brought over from Europe including those of the carniolan and caucasion bees, but whether there was, or is, a big enough gene pool is questionable.

    Through the 1900's, advancment in queen rearing has led to commercial mass production of queens. Lines of bees selected for their desired characteristics were even inbred to keep those lines going. These queens are sold to commercial and hobbiest beekeepers alike.

    We cannot rely on feral colonies either. One must consider that 1. where did they come from (an apairy?), 2. There will never be enough feral drones around to compete with drones from near by commercial apairies, and 3. the hive density in North America is not suffecient enough to prevent inbreeding or at least hadn't been, in which case there is a lot of inbreds out there.

    Even if we consider the exchange between breeding stock with breeders (say 20 breeders) a form of playing musical queen, pass it down the line type thing. Out of every new breeder queen developed, half the genes are going to be lost at some point. A breeder could use the new queen as the breeder queen hybridizing those daughters to his current stock or after breeding daughter queens from her, select breeder queens to use and again being bred to his current stock, either way, as time goes on, the 20 different lines will at one point, many years down the road, eventually become homogenious.

    Another consideration is if a breeder uses only one breeder or several even from the same line. A queen breeder can raise up to or more than 10,000 queens in a season flooding areas with 1 genotype where commercial beeks keep their bees. Now, for them, if there arises a need for them to become self sufficient by rearing their own queens, there will not be any diversifaction at all. In light of the recent events, this might come to pass now. The inbreeding problem for the americas is also made worse by bringing in inbred stock. The honeybee has only been in those countries (hawaii, australia, new zealand) since the 1820's, or later. There was never as good as diversification of genetics in any of those countries, as what there was in North America.

    I would be nice if queens could be made available from the old world to bring in new genetics and I don't mean to only special groups or universities but to queen breeders and regular beeks like you and me. This would bring in a much needed influx of new blood. but do to the nature of politics and the greed of man, we may never see that happen.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    ...the queen is always greener on the other side of the pond.

    deknow

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    In this case, the atlantic ocean.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  8. #7

    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    I would be interested in trading queens with other breeders with same interest.

    Don

    diversity is going to be the key to survival

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    I still think there is more than enough diversity so did some research

    beeslave post here with queens he sells in packages:
    Joe Latshaw (Ohio) Aurea Italian
    Steve Parks (California) Italian
    Glenn Apiaries (California) Carnolian VSH


    OWA Apiaries (Washington) wild stock & Russians
    Canada (Ferguson Apiaries) Buckfast & Danish stock.
    Glenn Apiaries (California) VSH x MN Hygienic.
    Florida (Miksa) banded Italian
    Joe Latshaw (Ohio) Karnica

    from bee-l and let us not forget the yugo but couldn't find any.

    copied small part of each post below the link.

    http://community.lsoft.com/scripts/w...%3BMatches&z=4


    We have however used Australian queens ( along with U.S. and Hawaii sources)
    ever year since the import. One year we desperately needed 500 queens and
    Australia was our ONLY source. We called all U.S. producers and came up
    empty. All 500 arrived alive!

    I have now in my yards bees which came from varroa tolerant queens from
    Italy sent in via Australia. Buckfast queens from the Abby via Australia.
    Queens from stock Dann Purvis inseminated in Australia.


    regarding the above bees

    http://community.lsoft.com/scripts/w...%3BMatches&z=4


    A survey of alleles in U.S. bees showed we needed genetics. Thanks to AHB,
    Russian bee import and the Australian import the situation has improved.
    Sue Cobey has said we still need genetics. A point I agree with. <---- guess we still need more for reaserch?

    I did read somewhere that she did or was trying to import seamen a few years
    back?

    http://community.lsoft.com/scripts/w...%3BMatches&z=4



    >Since there is no varroa in Australia, I'd think it's hard for the
    Australians to test mite resistance of their crosses 'over there.'

    Testing was done in the U.S.


    Dann Purvis is testing the Australian lines now. By adding
    varroa load and frames of varroa infested brood he hopes to kill off at
    least 50% of his hives each year! Each year its getting harder to do as the
    lines are becoming very varroa tolerant.


    so if the breeders need/want diversity it has been imported. Canada had
    austrailian imports for many years, Purvis may have added it to his lines,
    weaver sells austrailian bees and you have all the lines above including the
    Yugo(im sure ist somewhere?) I really was looking for a post that I remember
    from an austrialian that posts on bee-l about how long and how many different
    bees had been imported but couldn't find it.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    I'm not sure how many alleles if any the Australian imports actually added to our gene pool. I say this because honeybees are not a native species to Australia. Maybe Australia is able to import more honeybees from europe then the U.S., again I don't know.

    Do we even know how many alleles exist in the honeybee Genome, or are we still finding new alleles? I'm assuming that new alleles do show up from time to time do to mutations. I would guess that some mutations of alleles have occured here in the U.S.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    I tried 7 different sources of queens in the last couple of years and only got good queens out of canada, then the producer stoped shipping. Time to start raising your own queens in s.c.
    From what info I've found the reason why they've stopped shipping is because some "government regulation" here has closed the border for canada to ship to us. I understand that there may be something with Australia as well but I'm not sure on that part.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by delber View Post
    From what info I've found the reason why they've stopped shipping is because some "government regulation" I understand that there may be something with Australia as well but I'm not sure on that part.
    they can ship from canada but each shippment must be inspected and a payment made that makes it prohibitedly expensive to get small shippments.
    Australia has been shut down totally due to the potential of unwanted
    something that I can't remember off the top of my head.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuleluder View Post
    I'm not sure how many alleles if any the Australian imports actually added to our gene pool. I say this because honeybees are not a native species to Australia. Maybe Australia is able to import more honeybees from europe then the U.S., again I don't know.
    from what I have read they have been importing bees from other countries, including at some point from the U.s., I'm just not sure what countries. Im not sure if the Australian imports actually added to our gene pool either, but since they have imported from more countries than we have, if there gene pool is no different than ours, then where do these people expect to get these new alleles from?? I'm guessing that if people are going to the trouble to get bees into australia and then get them to the U.S. it must be for something? then again as someone said before, the grass is always greener
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    I still think there is more than enough diversity so did some research

    beeslave post here with queens he sells in packages:
    Joe Latshaw (Ohio) Aurea Italian
    Steve Parks (California) Italian
    Glenn Apiaries (California) Carnolian VSH


    OWA Apiaries (Washington) wild stock & Russians
    Canada (Ferguson Apiaries) Buckfast & Danish stock.
    Glenn Apiaries (California) VSH x MN Hygienic.
    Florida (Miksa) banded Italian
    Joe Latshaw (Ohio) Karnica

    from bee-l and let us not forget the yugo but couldn't find any.


    I understand where you are coming from with that. We have several races of bees here but even for those breeders that are using these bees for breeding, they will need to bring in new genetic material, and that is not possible in the current situation. Also, how is it possible to keep the same line going without at least a little bit of inbreeding.

    The only new genetics that have really come in have been the russians, but once again there was only a limited amount that came in, were tested first, bred for their desired caracteristics then made available to the public. The AHB is also a contributer to new genetics but they certianly are not playing a roll in the overall breeding program of queen breeders or commercial beeks and hobbiests for obvious reasons. I'm not sure about the history of the yugo but if it was a strain recently brought from the old world it's at least a little help.

    VSH means nothing in regards to new blood. These were bees found in our own back yard that could tolerate the mite. To make it worse that gene responsible for VSH is recessive which is hard to breed into other bees and is going to be the cause of massive inbreeding in order to keep those lines going.

    Sue Cobey brought in semen and eggs, (i believe that is correct), at the time when that was in the news I was excited because there might of been an oppertunity here to get some old world carniolan genes back into my bees. Hopefully they will be made available soon but this is where I'm getting at about the availability to special groups, It's doing neither you nor I any good simply because there not available to use.

    Bees have only since 1860 ocuppied all of north america, 150 years ago, and that the first bees into New Zealand and Australia happened around 1840-50. I'm doubting that there was a large enough gene pool to allow the mass production of queens off even several selected lines, that at some point, we wouldn't see a bit of inbreeding going on and get worse with time.

    I think the bees and beeks would be further ahead if they could implement their own breeding programs that bring in new genes on an annual or bi-annual basis. Example: I've got 25 queens coming from New zealand, Carniolans bred from genetics that came from
    queen breeding institutes in Europe, namely Lunz, Austria; Kirchhain, Germany; and Mayen, Germany. they will provide a drone base as well for the queens the following year from which i will be getting from a friend here in BC. I love carniolan bees but they are limited on where one can get them with out going through miles of red tape.

    What I'm trying to say is this: There should be no ban for allowing bees from Europe into North America, at least for providing breeding stock. Not all of us have the experience or the means or the funds to bring in semen or eggs. What has Europe got that we haven't? It would be so much easier to just perchase queens from a breeders over seas so we could actually put them to a practical use in our own bees and our breeding programs. It would introduce new genetics to keep a line going or to create hybrids that were once so popularly productive.

    anyway, once again, thanks for letting me rant.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    I have often wondered if someone could map out the USA and start a project collecting wild drone semen in areas defines as remote. I have seen honey bees in the high Sierra's and really doubt that they are from a commercial operations (at least not recent). The USA has a lot of land full of bees with a lot of potential genetic variability. If semen were collected from diverse locations and even a single gene sequenced to ascertain differing levels of divergence then a breeding program could be designed around this principle. Collecting drones from a bee tree would be easy enough and the semen could even be isolated on site, taken to the lab, and a single gene (or preferably more) PCR amplified and sequenced. Semen last pretty well at room temp so any II could be done based on sequence criteria.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    The problem with most people wanting lots of genetic variation is that they only want it for short-term normally.
    Only a true conservationist who will keep all his genetic material unselected and present with all their variations
    for future generations to come and will have a good gene pool. Almost of every breeders out there are only after
    immediate production traits and will select the best of the best and get rid of the rest. This will work for a while
    until the breeder starts seeing that his plants or animals are not as productive anymore and possibly getting
    weaker with each passing generation.

    I really think that this queen rearing thing is fine in small amounts but in excess it can't do anything good
    for gene pools. Continously selecting the best for whatever trait you want will bottleneck the gene pool and
    lessen the species survival in the long run. Imagine one human male mating with every female in a small town.
    You can see the impact that would have wouldn't you. I'm sure only using a few queens to populate lots of
    hives has the same effect over time.

    I have read a book or two on breeding and natural genetic conservation and find that Genetic Swamping is
    another problem. This occurs when locally addapted populations get too small in terms of genes and introduced
    breeding individuals outnumber the breeders already present. This example is from a wild salmon stream but
    still holds true to any animal regardless. Imagine a stream that has 5000 mature wild salmon in it and someone
    releases 50 hatchery salmon and they all mate together. The hatchery genetic material is low quantity compared
    to the natural stock and not much will change the overall wild population too much. On other hand, if the same
    stream was overfished with only 100 wild salmon present with 2000 hatchery being released in it and they breed.
    You can see that the wild salmon stock would never be the same and the local adaption would be lost for a
    very long time from the dilution.


    The link below is about the one-migrant-per-generation rule which would allow some new genetic material
    to be added to a population. Genes introduced by even a single migrant per generation may swamp the effects
    of inbreeding, however, regardless of the size of the population but not enough to destroy the local adaptation
    present. I imagine one queen every year from another apiary would do the same. If you take time developping
    a locally adapted stock of bees please don't destroy it with too much requeening from other apiaries as well.
    Like most things in life a little is good too much always kills.

    http://www.cfc.umt.edu/personnel/mil...orf%20OMPG.pdf

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    Varroa has been a big part in the loss of genetic diversity. Around the world and 100 years ago in the US there were many lines of bees, many alleles, and bees with some very good traits. As none of these bees had been exposed to varroa, they had no need to be resistant, but might have otherwise been excellent bees.

    But now many people think they should not treat and allow any bees that succumb to varroa, to just die. In this way whole lines of bees have been wiped out, and much genetic diversity lost.

    Much of the damage has already been done. However for whatever genetic material is left, in my humble opinion, bees should not be allowed to just die. But blending those beneficial and diverse genes, into lines of bees that include them all, plus varroa resistance, is a complex task and only a few are really working hard at it. I can think of one queen breeder in particular, who is also on this forum, doing a lot in this feild.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    My mother is from Ireland and my father is a mutt. I'd say I've got some hybrid vigor
    I'm pretty sure my fathers side is from Jewish folk who lost there religion, and Mom's family are Scotch/Irish who gave up drink. No wonder we're hard to get along with.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    Scotch/Irish? Not Scots/Irish? Scotch is the alcohol, isn't it? Or maybe you meant Scotch/Irish meaning Irish who drink Scotch?
    Mark Berninghausen

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    Can't answer that. It seems that I left my syntax checker on my other computer.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Our Gene Pool

    I'm sure the way queen raising goes on today has probably caused more genetic
    diversity loss than any one single disease or parasite. I don't think taking one queen
    and mass producing 100 of more queens from her to be good for diversity when the
    others are not used. Stocks of reduced diversity are always hit harder when
    mayhem arrives.

    The same goes for monocultures of plants like corn,cotton,wheat, etc. The fields
    look great for a while till the pests multiply like crazy. Then farmers go crazy with
    pesticides and the cycles continues downward and we eat it all.

    Oh well, let the bee gods sort them out.

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